KHARTOUM– United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday announced that over 60,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan during the first quarter of 2017.
“The number of new arrivals has surpassed expectations, signaling a likely worsening situation in South Sudan,” it noted.
UNHCR’s representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, appealed to the international community to continue its support to Sudan for the South Sudanese refugee emergency.
“Ultimately there needs to be a solution in South Sudan, so that people do not have to flee to neighboring countries,” she noted.
Yoshida expressed her gratitude for Sudan to keep its border open and receive refugees, saying that she was encouraged by the approach of granting refugees the opportunity to live within host communities, where old friendships and ties exist.
“Sudanese people along the border are sharing much of what they have with people arriving from South Sudan. Old friends are helping each other. Refugees are also working on the land supporting local farmers, and making a small living to sustain themselves and their families,” she noted.
UNHCR and its partners have appealed for 166 million U.S. dollars from international donors to help refugees and host communities in Sudan.
According to official statistics last month, Sudan hosts around 495,000 South Sudanese.
Famine was officially declared recently in South Sudan, where the government and the UN said 100,000 people are facing starvation, with one million people classified as being on the brink of famine.
The famine was attributed to many reasons including the civil war and collapse of the economy in the new-born state.
©Alleastafrica and Xinhua